I suppose I can’t help but to chime in on this news. Having worked with Omniture for quite a while, here’s what I think they’ll do:
If they acquire VS in Q1 2008, at first they’ll do nothing. Omniture does not have the support infrastructure to change or integrate the already existing organization at VS, let alone deal with the VS client-management volume that such a change will undoubtedly create. VS will likely continue to have its own website and GUI through Q3 2008. The Visual Site tool will also be unaffected.
Then, in a big push, sometime in Q3 or Q4, they will create a kind of VS platform within SiteCatalyst, along the same lines as Genesis, Discover, TouchClarity, and SearchCenter. It will be a separate tab in the user-interface, thus both promoting the Omniture brand and encouraging the transition to SiteCatalyst.
I think they will create two levels of enterprise web analytics. The old HBX will become a “Web Analytics Light” with much the same capabilities it has today, but perhaps without the customization, flexibility, or Visual Site components.
SiteCatalyst, on the other hand, will become the more upscale product, fusing with both Omniture Discover and Visual Site, dropping Data Warehouse and ASI’s (which are already, according to rumor, going to be phased out), and (hopefully) leveraging VS’s Report Builder capabilities to merge with MS Excel. Current clients of both Omniture and Visual Sciences will have to make the choice to upgrade to this new version, providing the opportunity for Omniture to increase its contractual revenue. Those who do not upgrade will likely struggle in negotiations to maintain their current level of implementation and complexity. Highly customized contracts – current today in both Omniture and Visual Sciences – will increase.
Such a two-level system would allow Omniture to compete with Google, increase its revenue, and still promote a product that will keep it competitive with WebTrends and other enterprise-level solutions. Merging the two – HBX and SiteCatalyst – might take place eventually, but I don’t see that happening before 2009, and the two-tier system might prove profitable enough to postpone such a fusion. Certainly, Omniture has been keen to move people away from the out-of-the-box SiteCatalyst implementation and into Discover and its other high-end products, and by having a cheaper, but far less analytical, alternative, they might get current clients to upgrade. And a “lighter” version of HBX might be attractive enough for small businesses to replace the revenue stream that will be lost, as both current VS clients abandon VS, and prospects shy away from it, because of this merger.